SEATTLE, Feb. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- Holland America Line is set to travel Down Under in 2009 with nine select voyages throughout Australia and New Zealand aboard the 1,432-passenger ms Volendam, a ship new to this region. Iconic landmarks such as the Sydney Opera House and Auckland's Sky Tower will greet guests as the ship explores the varied landscapes and exotic cultures of Australia and the North and South islands of New Zealand through several unique ports of call.
Departing from Auckland, New Zealand; Sydney, Australia, or Singapore, the exclusive 14- to 19-day sailings bring guests to striking locales and allow for spectacular scenic cruising and pre- and post-cruise tours to some of world's most renowned destinations.
"For many of our guests, a cruise to Australia and New Zealand is a dream come true," said Richard D. Meadows, CTC, executive vice president, marketing, sales and guest programs for Holland America Line. "The itineraries we offer are unlike any others, and that ensures we're giving our guests the most extraordinary experiences possible."
15- and 19-day itineraries sail the Great Barrier Reef and Asia
Volendam's two new Great Barrier Reef itineraries are firsts of their kind among major cruise lines in the region. On these select sailings, guests enjoy four days of cruising the Great Barrier Reef, including two days of daylight cruising through the world's largest coral reef system. Scenic highlights in the reef include viewing the sunrise or sunset -- depending on itinerary -- while anchored off Lizard and Bobby Islands, an overnight anchorage in the reef near Sherrard Island and cruising Torres Strait. Several interesting ports also will be visited in Indonesia, including Komodo Island, part of the Komodo National Park; Padang Bai, Bali, with its abundance of shopping opportunities, and Semarang, a bustling city teeming with ancient temples. The 19-day itinerary from Auckland to Singapore departs March 16, 2009, and the 15-day Singapore-to-Sydney cruise departs Nov. 21, 2009.
Discover the many wonders of New Zealand on a 14- or 16-day cruise
Guests are treated to a picturesque backdrop and extraordinary ports of call on 14-day voyages throughout Australia and New Zealand. Volendam brings cruisers from Sydney's famous harbor to Auckland's bustling city with calls along the way at Burnie, Australia; and Christchurch, Tauranga, Dunedin and Picton, New Zealand. The verdant landscape of New Zealand welcomes guests as they encounter breathtaking sights while cruising through Fiordland National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The lush forests and enchanting waterways will continue to charm guests, even as they sample the region's many culinary delights including Picton's wine country, Tauranga's kiwi farms and Burnie's Lactos Cheese Factory. Additional adventures can be experienced on Picton's waterways, which are perfect for kayaking, and Tauranga's bubbling hot springs. Itineraries between Sydney and Auckland depart January through March, and December 2009, and a special 16-day holiday sailing departs Dec. 20, 2009.
Starting fares (per person, double occupancy) for the 14-day cruises are $1,999 and for the 16-day holiday voyage, $2,999; also, $2,249 for the 15-day Great Barrier Reef journey, and $2,599 for the 19-day Great Barrier Reef experience. Guests can make the most of their time down under by adding a pre- or post-cruise tour to further explore sites such as the Great Barrier Reef, Ayers Rock or the Waitomo Caves.
Lectures in Holland America's Explorations Speaker Series further enhance the experience by providing guests the opportunity to fully immerse themselves in the region. When in port, guests can choose from a multitude of diverse shore excursions including the exclusive Medallion Collection featuring Overland Adventures; Signature Collection private-car touring; visits to natural, architectural and technical masterpieces from the Wonders of the World Collection; and rare and unusual experiences with the Encore Collection excursions.
Holland America Line also will feature a selection of unique voyages to the Asia Pacific region in 2009, including a new round-trip Hong Kong itinerary. For the first time next fall through spring of 2009, Volendam will sail to destinations throughout the Pacific, calling at exotic locales in China, Southeast Asia, Korea, Indonesia, Vietnam and Russia.
For a 2009 Australia/New Zealand and Asia/Pacific cruise brochure or for more information, consult a professional travel agent, call 1-877-724-5425 or visit http://www.hollandamerica.com.
Holland America's fleet of 13 ships offers nearly 500 cruises to more than 320 ports. Two- to 108-day itineraries visit all seven continents, including Antarctica, South America, Australia/New Zealand and Asia voyages; a Grand World Voyage; and popular sailings to ports in the Caribbean, Alaska, Mexico, Canada/New England, Europe and Panama Canal. For more information, consult a travel agent, call 1-877-SAIL-HAL (877-724-5425) or visit http://www.hollandamerica.com.
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The highest-rated premium cruise line in the world, Holland America Line is a member of the exclusive World's Leading Cruise Lines alliance, which also includes Carnival Cruise Lines, Princess Cruises, Cunard Line, Seabourn Cruise Line and Costa Cruises. Sharing a passion to please each guest and a commitment to quality and value, these lines appeal to a wide range of lifestyles and budgets. The World's Leading Cruise Lines offer exciting and enriching cruise vacations to the world's most desirable destinations.
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Source: Holland America Line